What Microsoft May Do with Skype

By Ryan Krause –

They spent 8.5 billion dollars on it, but now what?

On May 10, 2011 Microsoft bought Skype for 8.5 billion dollars in cash. According to MaximumPC, both Google and Facebook were also interested in this service.

But Microsoft won and it may be a great move by them.

Microsoft could license parts of Skype to Facebook and earn money that way. Plus buying Skype before Google keeps them from owning every big thing on the web.

Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer gave a speech on the acquisition of Skype when they released the information.

Miscosoft and Skype together. Image owned by CBSNews.com.

According to CNN the following five possibilities of Skype were discussed in his speech:

1. Integration with Xbox Live.

According to CNN, about 10 million users have a camera connected to their Xbox 360. Having Skype added to Xbox Live would open the possibility of video and voice chat support.

2. Application to Windows Phones.

Having a solid application with the Windows based phones would boost their popularity. Let’s be honest, the iOS and Droid based phones overshadow the Windows devices.

3. Addition to Facebook.

It would be great for both Facebook and it’s users to have video chat integrated into the regular Facebook chat. With Microsoft owning rights to Skype, they could easily license it to Facebook and earn a lot of money from it.

4. Beef up Hotmail.

Hotmail may have tons of users world wide, but how many are actually excited about it? Skype’s technology would allow more attractive additions to Hotmail and could potentially boost its popularity.

5. Be at a meeting without actually being there.

Cisco is known as the largest corporation for telecommunication according to CNN. And with Microsoft owning rights to Skype, Microsoft’s big name could boost the popularity of itself. Maybe even over Cisco. It’s rumored that there will be integration with Microsoft Office with this newly acquired technology.

Can Microsoft successfully pull all this off without losing money?

Is there a chance that additional fees will be introduced?

Microsoft Kinect Sales Skyrocket

By Eric Gerlach & Evan Shertzer

Some people use it for fun, others use it for exercise. Either way, a lot of people are using it

Recently, the Xbox Kinect passed 10 million sale milestone. According to digitaltrends.com, the Guiness Book of World Records has named the Xbox Kinect “The Fastest Selling Consumer Electronics Device.” Within in the first sixty days, Microsoft sold over eight million units.

Two gamers test their skills on the Xbox Kinect - Photo from bytefish.com

At Penn Manor, there are few students that own the Xbox Kinect, like freshman Ethan Barley.

“I used to use it a lot,” said Barley, “it is good for working out and it is a lot better than the Wii. The Wii sucks.”

The Xbox Kinect is made up of a microphone, console, sensors, and 3D camera.  The 3D camera picks up the human’s motion and depth allowing you to control the images displayed on the TV screen.  This new technology was presented and released by Microsoft in November of 2010.

“I’ve played it twice. It was fun and enjoyable,”  said freshman Brad Underkoffler, “I would like to play it again.”

The Xbox Kinect does have a somewhat hefty price attached to it: $150. It may seem like a lot of money to a high school student, but Underkoffler tells us it’s worth it.

“It costs a lot, but it really is worth the money,” said Underkoffler.

The Xbox Kinect and Console - Photo from digitaltrends.com

The Kinect breaks the sterotype that video games are an unhealthy habit for kids. You’ll still get a workout. Multiple Kinect compatable games involving fitness, like The Biggest Loser and EA Active 2, have been published.  These games help players stay active and healthy. And the games are a big benefit for those who are uncomfortable working out in front of others at school or at their local gym. Plus, if the weather doesn’t allow you to go outside, the Kinect allows you to still get some exercise.

“Without the Kinect, I would probably get fat,” Barley said.

In short, its innovative concept and impressive hardware make Microsoft’s newest toy a revolutionary device, bringing new possibilities to the gaming community.